Friday, April 5, 2019

Impacting Lives with Christian Fiction - Part 1

by Elva Cobb Martin

Do you believe we can impact lives with Christian fiction? I do. Jesus taught great spiritual principles through story or parables. I've done a little study to define terms and confirm why I know I want to write Christian fiction vs. secular. Consider two stories I've given as examples.

With guidance from Miss Clara, an older, wiser woman, Elizabeth discovers she can start fighting for her family instead of against them. As the power of prayer and Elizabeth's newly energized faith transform her life, will Tony join the fight and become the man he knows he needs to be? Together, their real enemy doesn't have a prayer.  (Is this the kind of legacy you'd like your fiction to plant in hearts?)
Christian vs. Secular
Think of two successful novels you’ve read—one Christian and one secular—and imagine you’ve placed them side by side. Now how are the two books alike or different?

Told exciting stories set in interesting places.
♦ Created fascinating characters.
♦ Kept readers engrossed in a dramatic plot situation.
♦ Wrote entertaining dialogue.
♦ Honored rules of grammar, usage, and deep point of view.
♦ Researched the facts presented.
♦ Met the requirements for their specific genre.
♦ Followed correct formatting guidelines for the manuscript.


This can be shown by looking at three definitions of Christian fiction:

a) Novels written by Christians, mostly for Christians, that contain Christian themes. They do not contain graphic sex scenes, violence for violence’s sake, profanity, drunkenness, or other things most Christians would consider offensive.

b) Stories that encompass religious themes found in the Bible.

c) Novels that tell stories from a Christian worldview.

Considered to be Fitzgerald's magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream. (Interesting story, but is this the taste you'd like to leave in the mouths and hearts of future generations?)

Don't miss Part 2 as we discuss the power of an author's worldview in fiction writing.

Thanks for stopping by. Would love to hear why you would like to write Christian fiction or secular.

Enjoy this lovely spring and Resurrection Season!


Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site,on Twitter; Facebook;  and Pinterest    
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: